Za'atar can also refer to an herb with notes of savory, thyme, and oregano; however, this herb is rarely exported.
When you purchase pickling spice at the store, what you're actually buying is a blend of spices, such as cassia bar, mustard seeds, coriander, allspice, peppercorns, juniper berries, dill seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, bay leaves, ginger, mace, and hot red pepper.
The mixture, which may vary by spice supplier, is used for pickled, canned vegetables such as cabbage, onions, and bread-and-butter pickles; fish, like salmon and herring; and meat dishes, such as Irish corned beef and German sauerbraten.
Pickling spices are generally left whole, so as not to cloud the brine, and they're usually tied in a cheesecloth or sachet for easy removal after cooking. What do you use pickling spices for? Have you ever blended your own?
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Two stories came out this week that show great promise for the fight against breast cancer by ridding the body of breast cancer stem cells. These stem cells have been resistant to chemotherapy treatments and remained in the breast even after the cancer went into remission. Researchers hope that if they can eliminate the stem cells responsible for breast cancer, they can control the spread and recurrence of the disease.
Spices May Prevent Breast Cancer
In combination, turmeric and black pepper were shown to halt the growth of new breast cancer stem cells when applied in a laboratory dish. Piperine, which is found in black and long pepper, enhances the cancer-fighting properties of curcumin, which is prevalent in the spice turmeric. Before you run out and grab that curry, keep in mind that the spice solution was 20 times more potent than the spices found in a normal diet. More studies will be done to find a safe dosage for patients.
Experimental Drug Kills Breast Cancer Stem Cells
In clinical trials, an experimental compound called MK-0752 was effective in killing breast cancer stem cells in lab mice. The mice were injected with breast cancer stem cells from women and grew tumors that were identical to those growing in the women. When researchers combined chemotherapy with the compound they found, they were able to halt the growth of new cells.
The five spices — cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, and either fennel seed or ginger — are employed based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food. The powder is used to flavor dishes from Cantonese roasted duck to beef stew.